Posts Tagged ‘Food Festival’

Godalming Food Festival 2019

July 7, 2019

The first food festival I went to a few years ago was excellent. Has slowly gone downhill. Each one worse than the previous. Today was dire.

Why a Sunday? Public transport is non existent on a Sunday. So much for reduce reliance on the car and that we are facing a Climate Emergency.

In the past one train an hour to Guildford, one train an hour from Guildford to Godalming, with nearly an hour wait at Guildford.

Revised timetable, two trains an hour to Guildford, two trains an hours to Godalming, which is an improvement.

But try catching a bus.

Whilst waiting fora train, cappuccino off FCB kiosk.

Sunday, no butcher open, no greengrocer open.

Waitrose had a cookery demonstration. Weirdest cookery demonstration I have ever seen, the cooks were silent. The guy who was doing the talking was trying to sell stuff from Waitrose, completely ignored the cooking.

The Waitrosee demo meant I missed the hog roast.

Hog roast, dosa off Ollo Foods, Dylan’s ice cream, paella, the only stalls worth knowing about.

In the past there has been a range of beer and wine, and far wider range of food.

A stall selling fake-meat burgers. Why? Why not provide quality vegetarian food? I was surprised to see a long queue. I think they were too. Only the queue was for the neighbouring Thai stall.

A stall with adulterated cheese shrink-wrapped in plastic.

Godalming Deli has improved, or at least expanded, now has zero waste. But crap coffee from Redber.

Cafe Mila busy. Crap undrinkable coffee from Cupsmith. I saw a a cappuccino, full of froth and foam, chocolate dumped on top, yuk. In the street a sign barista coffee, meaningless.

Why is no one in Godalming capable of serving decent coffee?

Cafe Mila is usually empty during the Food Festival. That it was busy a reflection of how bad the Food Festival.

A stall with what was claimed to be craft artisan chocolate only it was not. Wrapped in plastic, bulked out with emulsifiers. Quality chocolate it was not. The guy manning the stall did not even know what was bean-to-bar chocolate.


– cocoa mass, sugar, vanilla
– cocoa mass, cocoa butter sugar, vanilla

Purists do not add vanilla.

Why do council markets have abysmally low environmental standards? Why not plastic free?

Worst stall by far, stall with turkey sausages sitting on the stall on a hot afternoon, sausages in polystyrene boxes. Sausages cooked, popped back in the box for people to sample. Cooked sausages crawling with flies.

Hot weather and food do not mix. Why environmental health not patrolling these markets?

Meat, cheese, should be on refrigerated stalls.

With no greengrocer, no butcher, not even a fruit and vegetable stall, it was to Waitrose.

I never made it. I saw a coffee shop called Roost. I had seen a sign for it earlier but no indication where it was.

I looked in. It goes further back than external appearance would indicate, with a garden out the back. Very pleasant ambience.

I sat in the garden and had a chat with the owner.

Coffee from Fire Chimney Coffee. The only place in Godalming that sources other than cheap crap coffee. I did not try a coffee, too late. Maybe another time.

Waitrose now closed. Made do with Cook.

On the way to the station, am ice cram parlour, crap coffee, but interestingly had bean-to-bar chocolate. And no emulsifiers.

I tried a pistachio ice cream. He said it was made differently. Taste was much different. Not sure if I liked or not.

Godalming Food Festival

July 1, 2017

A quick tour, then popped into Cafe Mila.

The Godalming Food Company have marginally improved the coffee they are flogging, but there is far better quality coffee around from quality coffee roasters.

Appalled at the rubbish ice cream van. Disgusted at the engine left running all day.  Why no Dylan’s ice cream serving quality ice cream?

Bins overflowing with rubbish.

I contrast with the street food party in Lower Marsh two days ago to launch Waterloo Food Month where not only were the bins regularly emptied, men were walking up and down the street with sacks collecting rubbish off people.

Waverley,  a useless council if ever there was one, need to get their act together. They know there is a street food festival all day, step up rubbish collection accordingly.

Low environmental standards.  Why are stalls allowed to use polystyrene burger-style boxes?

Excellent rhythm and blues band playing in The Pepperpot mid-afternoon.  A must for Staycation Live. Maybe also have play The Village in Guildford, which to date has been an unmitigated disaster.

I looked in the Goldalming Museum. Something I must do more often, as they always have an interesting art exhibition worth visiting.

I looked in Cafe Mila. Pleased to see they had changed their coffee. I went back later, had a coffee. Not bad but not great. I have reservations on Cupsmith, who I have never heard of. No information on the bags of coffee, and calling a coffee Breakfast Coffee, is meaningless.  Best by is also meaningless. At the very minimum, roast date, where sourced from and if single origin or a blend.

How much information to put on a bag of beans was discussed at Union Summer Carnival. Every bean has a story to tell.

Go into Waitrose and check out coffee beans from Union Hand-Roasted Coffee.

Cafe Mila often have interesting books dotted around. I quickly browsed Coffee. Glossy pictures, text on glossy paper making difficult to read. The contributors not experts on coffee.  Not recommended. There are far better books on coffee.

A few ideas tossed around whilst at Cafe Mila. Try Karuna Coffee, or at the very least as a guest coffee. Consider next art exhibition entitled coffee. Could be still life of a coffee, a coffee scene outside a coffee shop. The opening could be a coffee festival held in Angel’s Court.

I also gave a copy of Waterloo Food Month Gastro Passport. Could do the same in Godalming, use street food festival as the launch party for a  Godalming Food Month.

I recommended copies of Caffeine, help yourself, Standart to browse or for sale. If for sale, Cafe Mila would be on the Standart distribution map.

The food festival finished at five o’clock, but stalls were packing up at least half an hour before. Then idiots were driving through at speed, with risk of injury, other idiots illegally parking on footpath, engine running, obstructing the highway.  A bus even tried to get through.

At five, allow stall vehicles through to dismantle stalls, then open at six.

Local businesses do not like the food festival as they see takings fall. This is short sighted. It brings many more people into Godalming, who see what is in the town. Maybe they will return.

I could have eaten in Cafe Mila. I did not, as there was much on offer in the street, but I did return mid-afternoon, had a drink and a cake.  I noticed although empty inside, there were many people sat outside.

A chat with Godalming Mayor, who is also the local butcher.  He was interested to hear these observations. At least as the local butcher, folks can bend his ear.

A clash, Southampton had a coffee festival on the same day.

Guildford farmers market, first Tuesday of the month.

Staycation Live, first weekend in August.

Godalming Food Festival

July 5, 2014
Godalming Food Festival

Godalming Food Festival

On arrival, I popped into the Parish Church, a candle lit, prayer card writ for Cristina.

Outside the church a piper playing, Awful noise. Bagpipes are not for pleasure, the Scots used them when they went into battle to terrorise their enemies.

I was tempted to walk along the river, but decided not, maybe later.

Yasemen Kaner-White book signing

Yasemen Kaner-White book signing

Church Street was closed, as was the High Street. Stalls lining Church Street and all the way down the High Street.

Usually Godalming is quiet, a handful of people going about their businesses, although I have never been there on a Saturday. Actually not true I have been on a Saturday for Staycation Live, and the town was quiet then, though the park was packed for the music.

Thai food

Thai food

Ascot Ales

Ascot Ales



The High Street was packed, I have never seen so many people in Godalming, Some of the stalls, you could not get near due to the people. A paella stall and a hog roast, had a queue half way down the street.

Karen Page, amazing performer. And what a difference a decent sound system came make. She was playing in the street, then invited to play at the Pepperpot (where they had decent sound system). They should have had her playing as the main act at the Pepperpot, as what they had playing mid-afternoon were awful

She told me she was at the Farnham Carnival last week, but was asked to play in the street. Why was she not on the main stage, as what they had playing were dire? The exception being The Miller Family, and they are a brilliant seven-piece band.

I picked up a signed CD Karen Page for my friend Crisobella. I suggested she uploaded her album to bandcamp.

Karen Page is a must for Staycation Live this year. I also suggested she played at Café Mila, and at Harris + Hoole in Guildford.

Two years ago, Staycation Live had excellent food, last year, the ghastly commercial stainless steel burger vans. They must invite the local hog roast and decent local food, as they did two years ago.

Jo Wheatley gave baking demonstrations which I missed. A signed copy of Home Baking for my friend Alice.

The man who has a basket shop down a side street, and a little Christian bookshop at the back, had a stall with strawberries and cream. I told him of the talk Canon Andrew White gave at Alton Maltings, and apologised for not letting him know in advance, as I know he would have liked to have attended.

For next year

  • Curries from Home
  • Thai restaurant from Jeffries Passage in Guildford
  • Hobo Co coffee
  • Dylan’s ice cream

I was pleased to see most of the stalls were using card and paper for their food and drinks, wooden forks. A few though were using polystyrene burger boxes, plastic cups. Standards need to tightened. It must be possible to recycle or compost.

I told a couple of local retailers of Guildford Independent’s Day, and suggested the same for Godalming. They thought a great idea. I would though go further, launch a local currency, form an embryonic Transition Godalming, make this their first projects, then officially launch all three next year.

cucumber soup

cucumber soup

A bowl of soup from Café Mila. Cucumber soup. Cucumbers, unless the little ones, are fairly tasteless. I have never before come across cucumber soup. It was excellent, though it did have spices in it.

Pork off the hog roast. Excellent pork. I assumed it must be a suckling pig, but no. Generous portions too. I returned later and had sausages off the butcher.

Afternoon tea at Café Mila, followed by a zinger (apple, pear, lime and ginger).

relaxing outside Cafe Mila with a  glass of sparkling wine

relaxing outside Cafe Mila with a glass of sparkling wine

Alan was playing cello. It was very pleasant sitting outside listening to the sound of the cello drifting out, drinking a glass of sparkling wine. I suggested he got together with a couple of friends, live concert at Café Mila, record, and if good enough, release on bandcamp for digital download, and have available as a CD Live at Café Mila. I suggested he check out Zoë Keating, especially her album Into The Trees.

Café Mila has books to take away, books to browse. I sat outside browsing through Snakistan, a wonderful book of Middle Eastern street food, with lovely stories from Nasrudin.



I suggested Steve would like Sacred Economics, sharing, collaborative commons. We see this at Café Mila with their summer art exhibition. Support for local artists, it brings people in.

I had a last look at the summer art exhibition. It ends on Sunday.

summer art exhibition at Café Mila

summer art exhibition at Café Mila

summer art exhibition at Café Mila

summer art exhibition at Café Mila

A chat with artist Beth, who I met in the spring, and whose art exhibition I missed in May. She said only those she had invited had attended, nevertheless, the exhibition was a huge success, as they came from all over the UK, and even from the States, and she sold four paintings.

I suggested she read The Alchemist, and check out the talk Andrew White recently gave in Alton. As she was going on holiday, she said she would download The Alchemist to her Kindle, to read whilst away.

A train to Guildford a little before 8pm, for a cocktail party at Harris + Hoole.

A strange day, warm, then late afternoon turned cold, then turned warm again.

Saturday 26 July 2014 — Guildford summer festival farmers market

last Saturday July 2014 (?) — Staycation Live

Tuesday 5 August 2014 — Guildford farmers market

Alton Food Festival 2011

July 11, 2011

Alton Food Festival used to be worth visiting, sadly it is now little more than a farmers market.

Alton Food Festival 2009
Alton Food Festival 2010

Why not all day, why no cooking demos in the afternoon?

I caught the last cooking demo. A lady showing how easy it was to make cup cakes. Last year the same lady showed how easy it was to make cup cakes!

One measure of a market, apart from the pleasure of wandering around, is how much you spend. Not a great score there. I spent zilch. It was not that I did not buy anything, sausages and bread from Brock’s Farm Shop and fruit and vegetables from an excellent fruit and vegetable shop, but nothing off the market.

Alton is a pleasant market town to wander around.

Two museums but why closed until Tuesday? Bad timing.

I looked in St Lawrence Church. Not a very attractive church to look at but interesting from a architectural and historical perspective, and it was fantastic to actually find the church open as so many are closed. The church is Norman, with Elizabethan additions. The church was at the centre of the Battle of Alton, a turning point in the English Civil War. Inside the church a quiet corner for prayer where I left a few prayer and meditation cards. Sadly no Visitor’s Book to sign.

I bumped into Stuart Olds who was doing a book signing. We had an interesting chat and I came away with a signed copy of Hope’s Truth.

I went for a walk along the water meadows. The river had dried up leaving patches of mud and stones. As I walked along, little pools of water, then I noticed the water was flowing. This is the source of the River Wey, the water bubbles up through the chalk of the river bed. It flows through Farnham where it is a stream, through Godalming and Guildford where it is a canalized river and on to join the River Thames.

On my way home I popped in to see Peter O’Connor of O’Connor’s Secret Garden. I had bumped in to him on arrival and he told me he had, as last year, given one of the cooking demos, which I was sorry to have missed. He kindly gave me the recipes: Watercress Express and Warm Homemade Chocolate Brownies.

The journey to Alton is a pleasant train journey, or is when there are are trains. Instead a somewhat unplesant bus trip. The return was no better. Welcome to weekend rail works. [see Weekend rail works]

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